PRESS ROOM

The Wine Industry Network (WIN) press room was created specifically to help you find the latest news and information quickly and easily. At WIN, we are about meeting the needs of wine industry suppliers and buyers by providing an Internet Marketing Platform and Virtual Market Place where suppliers and buyers can effectively and efficiently connect regionally, nationally and internationally.

The list below contains WIN press releases in order of publication.

Wine Industry Network Launches New WINjobboard.com
Published On: 06 April, 2015
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April 6, 2015, Healdsburg, CA – The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced the launch of WIN Jobs, www.winjobboard.com, a new job site that will feature wine industry employment listings for individuals looking for new career opportunities.  The intuitive platform will make posting new positions easy and affordable for hiring companies while leveraging the extensive reach of the Wine Industry Network to place job postings in front of relevant candidates.

Positions posted on WIN Jobs will also be featured regularly in WIN’s Afternoon Brief, a daily recap of industry news sent to over 26,000 subscribers. This added benefit will ensure that hiring companies experience maximum exposure for positions they’re looking to fill. 

Job seekers will find the new job board easy to navigate and will have the unique opportunity to sign up for alerts based on job type, ensuring they never miss a chance to apply for the perfect job. The new site is responsive and looks equally great on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

As an added benefit, WIN Jobs will partner with industry recruiters and staffing companies to provide quality employment services to those in need of additional support.

"I enjoy being a WIN member as it allows me visibility to my client-base who may need my recruiting services for their hiring needs,” said Derek Stefan, owner of Stefan Professional Recruiting. “The added-value of WIN Jobs gives members the opportunity to advertise their current job openings to a targeted audience of professionals in a proactive way and I am excited to use the WIN Job Board to announce searches we are conducting to a great pool of talent."

“You cannot succeed without building the right team, and that’s rarely a quick and easy process,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “There are a lot of steps involved, but ultimately it’s about locating the right talent. Our objective is simple, we want to be the best place to post a job and the best place to find a job. This new site, combined with our talented staff and tremendous subscriber base, will make achieving that goal a little easier.”

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3rd Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo Attendee Registration Now Open
Published On: 20 August, 2014
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Expo Will Feature Enhanced Educational Sessions

Healdsburg, Calif., August 20, 2014 - The Wine Industry Network (WIN) announced attendee registration for the 2014 North Coast Wine Industry Expo to be held on December 4th opened today. Industry professionals can register for access to the trade show and to attend any of the six educational sessions by visiting wineindustryexpo.com/attendees

This year’s Expo will once again showcase nearly 300 of the industry’s best suppliers in both the Grace Pavilion and Hall of Flowers at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA. An enhanced educational component, featuring six sessions, continues WIN’s commitment to refine this event each year to better meet the needs of the North Coast wine industry. The six sessions will feature industry leaders speaking on the following topics:  

  • What to Expect on the 2015 Financial Front: Mergers and Acquisitions Forecast
  • DTC Technology Solutions: Creating an Engaging Wine Experience Beyond the Tasting Room
  • Pet Projects in the Cellar: Wineries Explore Beer, Cider and Distilled Spirits as Additional Revenue Channels
  • Wine and The Endangered Species Act: Avoid Pitfalls and Successfully Navigate Current Policy
  • Non-Traditional Packaging: The Evolution of Wine on Tap and What Every Winery Should Know
  • Sustainable Certification: Newest Techniques and Benefits of Compliance

“The superior quality of our exhibitors along with the expanded educational sessions makes this event a necessity for all North Coast wine industry professionals,” says George Christie, Wine Industry Network President. “We assemble the best suppliers and service providers along with industry experts who are willing to share their knowledge on a wide variety of important topics. It all happens in one place on one day, it’s a think tank session you don’t want to miss.”

The line-up of speakers and complete details for the conference are now available online. To attend, visit wineindustryexpo.com/attendees to register now.

Washington DC Beverage Industry Trade Show & Conference Announced
Published On: 07 May, 2014
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New Expo focused exclusively on Wine, Craft Beer, Cider & Spirits Industries

Healdsburg, Calif., May 7, 2014 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced the launch of the U.S. Beverage Industry Expo, a new trade show and conference focused exclusively on the Wine, Craft Beer, Cider and Spirits industries.

“Our objective is simple; we want to establish an annual world-class business event for Wine, Craft Beer, Cider and Spirits professionals” said George Christie, President and CEO of Wine Industry Network. “These four industries are perfectly aligned to benefit from one combined trade show. This event will feature the best suppliers showcasing their products and services and an educational conference where attendees can listen to and learn from proven winners,” adds Christie.

The trade event will take place February 17th & 18th, 2016 at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington DC. “We chose Washington DC for three reasons,” said Christie. “It’s an easy city to travel in to, it’s essentially neutral ground and will never be confused with being a regional or state show, and most importantly, Washington DC represents the American dream, which is exactly what every winemaker, brewer and distiller are chasing. It’s the perfect location for an event like this.”

Washington DC based WineAmerica, a National Association of American Wineries, is the Wine Industry Association partner for the Expo and will play a prominent role in identifying relevant topics and the experts invited to speak at the conference. “Our intent is to empower conference attendees with strategies and tactics designed to help member wineries enjoy an even higher level of success” says Michael Kaiser, Director of Communications for WineAmerica, Inc. Kaiser adds “There’s always been a spirit of cooperation in the wine industry and it’s a big reason for its success. We see a similar collaborative opportunity here with the Craft Beer, Cider and Spirits industries to establish a national, “must attend” business and networking event in our nation’s capital.”

The 1st year event will accommodate more than 300 exhibitors and 3,000 total attendees. Educational sessions will focus on all four categories and topics will include discussions on wine, beer, cider, and spirits production, marketing, sales, finance, and viticulture. Christie adds “nowhere in North America are these four industries growing faster than throughout the Eastern U.S. and although the specific products are different, there’s a lot of common ground. They share the same suppliers and in many cases, especially with regard to government regulations, the same challenges. They also share one more thing, a creative passion to produce the best products in the world and we’re incredibly proud to support that.”

In anticipation of exhibitor booths quickly selling out, reservations will be open beginning September 1st. For suppliers interested in exhibiting, a notification list is available to join at www.USBevExpo.com   

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Wine Industry Network Launches Afternoon News Brief
Published On: 06 November, 2013
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E-News Update to Provide Current Industry Headlines in “Real-Time”

 

Healdsburg, Calif., November 4, 2013 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today launched the Afternoon News Brief, the latest in their growing portfolio of wine business resources, products and services designed to benefit industry professionals. The Afternoon Brief is a summary of daily news headlines and top stories packaged in an email format and delivered to subscribers at the end of each business day.

 

“In our current business culture, driven professionals want relevant news as soon as it’s available,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “They simply want today’s news today…tomorrow is too late.”

                           

The Afternoon News Brief is a natural addition to the Wine Industry Network’s evolving platform of business resources. In addition to WIN’s comprehensive supplier network and directory, the company produces an online trade publication, The Wine Industry Advisor, as well as the second largest industry trade show in North America, the North Coast Wine Industry Expo.

2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo Attendee Registration Now Open
Published On: 12 August, 2013
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Four Educational Sessions are Paired with This Year’s Expanded Trade Show

 

Healdsburg, Calif., August 12, 2013 - The Wine Industry Network (WIN) announced attendee registration for the 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo opened today. Industry professionals can register for access to the trade show and to attend any of the four educational sessions by visiting www.wineindustryexpo.com/attendees

 

Now in its second year, the Expo has expanded the tradeshow floor at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to include the Hall of Flowers, creating an additional 130 exhibitor booths for attendees to visit. Four educational seminars will also be offered featuring industry leaders speaking on the following topics: Branding Your Vineyard, North Coast 2014 Financial Forecast, Trending Technology in the Cellar and Driving Tasting Room Traffic.

 

“We have nearly 300 of the industry’s best suppliers exhibiting and for this year’s educational sessions, we are assembling some of the most experienced and successful people in the region willing share what they’ve learned with the attendees,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “It’s the sharing of best practices that makes our industry unique and what continues to propel the North Coast Wine Industry forward”.

 

The expanded trade show and new topics featured in the educational seminars are sure to bring the North Coast Wine Industry Expo to a new level as it enters its second year. The finalized line-up of speakers for the conference will be announced next month. The Expo will be held on December 5th at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds; attendees can visit http://www.wineindustryexpo.com/attendees to register now.

Featured Artist Announced for 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo
Published On: 31 July, 2013
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Program Guide to Showcase Healdsburg Artist, Richard Sheppard

 

 

Healdsburg, Calif., July 31, 2013 - The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced that a new creative element will be added to this year’s North Coast Wine Industry Expo (NCWIE). The artwork of Sonoma County artist, Richard Sheppard, has been chosen for the cover of this year’s program guide. Sheppard will also be present, exhibiting more of his artwork at the event.

 

Sheppard is an artist, illustrator and writer. For over twenty years he has illustrated books, posters, and package designs and his watercolors can be viewed at art galleries, wineries, and art festivals around the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

“We wanted to find a way to incorporate the beauty of the North Coast region at our event,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “When we saw Richard’s work, we knew that a collaboration of this type would be the perfect way to do it. He’s incredibly talented and we couldn’t be happier to have one of his watercolors as the cover for our program guide.”

 

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Expo this year. It will provide some great exposure for my work, and as an artist, it’s always great to meet other art lovers,” said featured artist, Richard Sheppard. 

 

This year’s Expo will once again be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on December 5th with attendee registration for the event opening August 7. Topics for this year’s four educational conference sessions will also be announced on that day. Conference and trade show registration will open online at www.wineindustryexpo.com and discounts will be offered when purchasing multiple conference sessions.  

  

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Exhibitor Space for 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo – SOLD OUT
Published On: 03 July, 2013
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Exhibitor Space for 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo – SOLD OUT

 

Healdsburg, Calif., July 3, 2013 - The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced that all 329 available booths for the second annual 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo have sold out, making it the 2nd largest wine industry trade show in North America. Due to the demand for additional booth space from the 2012 event, WIN expanded this year’s show to include an additional 130 exhibitor spaces within the Hall of Flowers at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Attendees can look forward to four educational conference sessions that will focus on current industry trends with the official announcement of topics and speakers scheduled for the beginning of August. Conference and trade show registration will open online at www.wineindustryexpo.com on August 7, 2013 and discounts will be offered when purchasing multiple conference sessions.

“We are grateful for the support that the local wine industry has shown this new North Coast trade event,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “We remain committed to providing winery and vineyard operations access to the best industry suppliers and the products and services they offer. The 2013 Wine Industry Expo on December 5th is another step towards our goal to be the industry’s best business resource.”

Industry Trade Show Now Second Largest in North America
Published On: 23 April, 2013
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North Coast Wine Industry Expo Expands to Meet Exhibitor Demand

 

Industry Trade Show Now Second Largest in North America 

 


April 23
rd, 2013, Healdsburg, CA - The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced that they will expand the 2013 North Coast Wine Industry Expo in its second year to accommodate an additional 120 booths making it the second largest wine industry trade show in North America. The Expo will, once again, be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on Thursday, December 5, 2013.

This expansion is in direct response to last year’s sold out show and its resulting waiting list that has continued to grow since last December. The new floor plan will now include the Hall of Flowers as well as Grace Pavilion. In addition, the educational sessions will relocate to a new larger facility adjacent to the Hall of Flowers.

“In our first year, booths sold out almost immediately and we knew we needed to find a way to accommodate the growing interest,” said George Christie, Wine Industry Network President. “With over 300 suppliers exhibiting this December, the Expo is becoming a wine industry trade event that every North Coast Winery and Vineyard should plan on attending” adds Christie. “Whether you’re in the vineyard, cellar, tasting room or business office…there’s going to be something here for you”.

The inaugural event in 2012 attracted more than 2,000 attendees and attendance is expected to increase significantly in 2013. “It takes time to establish an event like this, but given last year’s success, we’re expecting a packed house in December,” added Christie. “Traditionally, that’s a time when vineyard and winery principals are busy planning for the upcoming year; this show is going make that planning process easier than ever.”

Registration is now open for the 2013 Show and booths are expected to sell out quickly For more information, visit www.wineindustryexpo.com.

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First Wine Industry Expo and Conference Draws Over 2,000 Attendees
Published On: 18 December, 2012
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First Wine Industry Expo and Conference Draws Over 2,000 Attendees

 

North Coast Region Welcomes New Trade Event

 

Healdsburg, Calif., December13th, 2012 – The Wine Industry Network today confirmed that their first annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo conference and trade show was a great success. The show took place last week at the Sonoma County Fairground’s Grace Pavilion and featured over 200 exhibiting wine industry suppliers and service providers. Attendance to the first year event surpassed expectations with more than two thousand registered attendees representing industry personnel throughout Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Marin counties and beyond.

“We knew going in that the region was ready for a show of our own, but truthfully, this was much more successful than we could have imagined” said George Christie, President of the Wine Industry Network.

In addition to the trade show, the event hosted four sold-out conference sessions presented by some of the most experienced members of the wine and grape industry. Interactive panel discussions focused on everything ranging from vineyard operations to marketing and sales.  The reaction to the speakers, topics and information presented was extremely enthusiastic and plans for expanding the educational sessions at next year’s event is already underway.

“The feedback we’ve received from our exhibitors and attendees has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Christie. “We already have a waiting list of suppliers that have expressed an interest in being a part of the Expo next year.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to accommodate all of the suppliers that wanted in to this inaugural event, so next year…we’re making more room!”

Next year’s show will take place again in December, the week after Thanksgiving. “This is a show that will only get bigger and better. We’re committed to making the North Coast Wine Industry Expo the best show in North America,” said Christie.

For suppliers interested in exhibiting at the 2013 Expo, join the Expo waiting list: http://www.wineindustryexpo.com/waitlist.php.

 

 

Vineyard & Winery Management Appoints George Christie as CEO
Published On: 28 August, 2012
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Founder and President of Wine Industry Network Will Continue to Operate WIN

Santa Rosa, CA – Robert Merletti, Owner and Chairman of Vineyard & Winery Management, has announced that George Christie, Founder and President of Wine Industry Network, will join Vineyard & Winery Management as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to his new role, Christie will continue to operate Wine Industry Network and will explore opportunities in which the two businesses can work together.

As CEO, Christie will oversee all aspects of the Vineyard & Winery Management business, including its online presence, print publication, advertising and circulation, wine competitions, trade shows andconferences. He will also work closely with Editor-in-Chief Tina Caputo on editorial content. Christie’s experience in managing sales, marketing and business development functions in the wine industry will provide V&WM with the knowledge, experience and leadership necessary to expand its established publishing, event management and wine competition businesses.

Merletti, who will continue to take an active role in the strategic direction of V&WM, welcomes the addition of Christie’s expertise and talent and sees this as a mutually beneficial business opportunity as the two businesses work closely together. “The way to market and support suppliers today is very different than it was in the past. There is no one with a better understanding of this than George,” said Merletti. “He’s a wine industry veteran, a proven leader and marketing expert who will advance the growth of Vineyard & Winery Management.”

While this is not a merger of V&WM and WIN, the alliance is a positive for industry suppliers, who will benefit from added exposure and expertise both in print and online.

“Vineyard & Winery Management is a lot like many of the wineries I’ve worked with over the years,” Christie stated. “They’re family owned, committed to their customers and not afraid to make the changes necessary to ensure they’ll be here for another 40 years. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Vineyard & Winery Management’s expertise in producing industry events will provide valuable resources that will ensure the success of Wine Industry Network’s first trade show, the North Coast Wine Industry Expo, to be held Dec. 5 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

About Vineyard & Winery Management

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Vineyard & Winery Management is an independently owned and operated multimedia company that produces wine industry trade publications, conferences, trade shows and wine competitions. The family-owned company publishes Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, which has the highest circulation of any North American wine trade publication, and the Winedex (Wine Industry Index) buyer’s guide. V&WM’s conferences and trade shows include Wineries Unlimited, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference, and Winery DIY (formerly Wine Sales Summit), and its wine competitions include the Grand Harvest Awards, International Eastern Wine Competition, NextGen Wine Competition for Millennial Wine Drinkers, International Women's Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, and U.S. National Wine Competition. See www.vwm-online.com for more information. 

 

New Wine Industry Trade Event to Focus on North Coast
Published On: 24 July, 2012
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New Wine Industry Trade Event to Focus on North Coast

 WineIndustryNetwork.com Announces Regional Trade Show & Conference

 

Healdsburg, CA, July 24th, 2012 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced the launch of a new trade event, the North Coast Wine Industry Expo, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA.

“Over the last two years we’ve been approached countless times by vineyard and winery owners and local associations, about the need for a regional trade show,” says George Christie, President of WIN.  “We believe that this area is absolutely ready to support an event of this caliber… the North Coast deserves a show of its own.  Based on the overwhelming interest we’ve already received, we’re expecting the event to sell out…an amazing accomplishment for the first year.”

The North Coast Expo will include a one-day trade show featuring 200 of the industry’s best suppliers along with panel discussions focusing on Sales, Marketing, Production and Vineyard operations. The theme for the show is “2013…Plan for Success”. Topics will focus on latest trends in the industry and exhibitors will be showcasing new products and services that will become available in the upcoming year.

December is typically the slowest time of the year for winery and vineyard operations. The grapes have been harvested, most wines have gone through fermentation, and visitors to the area slow down. It’s a time when decision makers plan for the upcoming year. The show’s number one objective is to help make the planning process that much easier.

 “Timing for the event is perfect for winery and vineyard operation looking for a leg up in 2013,” says Christie. “Our goal is to give industry buyers the chance to see what’s new to the market and in some cases, take advantage of special pricing from suppliers looking to finish off the year strong with sales in December. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Booth applications are now being accepted and can be accessed at www.wineindustryexpo.com or by calling 707-433-2557 ext 100. Conference topics and speakers will be announced on August 15th.

 

Wine Industry Network Continues Rapid Growth
Published On: 31 May, 2012
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Wine Industry Network Continues Rapid Growth

 

WIN expands direct marketing network to 300+ supplier members

 

Healdsburg, Calif., May 31, 2012 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN), today announced that their supplier membership surpassed the three hundred member mark and has increased monthly since launching just over two years ago. This milestone is a major validation of WIN’s direct marketing model and continues to confirm that there is shift in the way that wine industry buyers now research new products and services.

“It’s no secret that people in every industry are relying on the internet more than ever to make better informed buying decisions,” said George Christie, President of WIN. “Our goal is to provide the best marketing platform possible so that the suppliers we represent can take full advantage of that trend.”

WIN’s supplier members continue to benefit from the expanding creative suite of direct marketing services that include targeted email campaigns, video marketing & production services, social media marketing,the most comprehensive directory of industry supplies and services, and a database of over 25,000 wine industry subscribers.

“While we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished, we never stop trying to improve. Technology is in a constant state of change and that’s a mindset we’ve embraced here at WIN,” said Christie. “Our mission is to provide more value to the suppliers we support and find better ways to help winery and vineyard owners make the best informed buying decisions possible.”

Christie credits the early success of WIN to their focused approach to supporting their members and expects to be closing in on five hundred by this time next year. “Our goal is not to sell subscriptions or advertising, it is to sell the industry suppliers we represent. That’s what makes this different…and we’re just getting started.”

 

Wine Industry Network Launches WIN Media Services
Published On: 29 September, 2011
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Wine Industry Network Launches WIN Media Services

 

WineIndustryNetwork.com Expands to Offer Full Service Video Marketing & Production


Healdsburg, Calif., July 27, 2011 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN), today announced that it would expand their current offering of marketing services to provide complete video marketing and production tailored to meeting the needs of wine industry suppliers, service providers, wineries and winery associations.

Since launching in 2009, WIN has earned a reputation for providing creative new direct marketing services to wine industry suppliers. “Over the past two years we have developed a wide range of marketing services for our members,” said WIN President/Founder George Christie. “Nearly every supplier we work with has expressed a desire for marketing videos to help promote their products. WIN Media is in direct response to these requests,” explained Christie.

The production team that is now WIN Media has produced more than 150 wine industry videos over the past four years and has garnered two prestigious Telly Awards. As video on the internet continues to grow at a tremendous rate, large and small businesses in every area of the wine industry are embracing this medium. It has proven to be one of the most effective ways to communicate a brand message, and more importantly, the personalities behind those brands.                                                                                                                                                    

“Providing video marketing & production is the natural evolution for the Wine Industry Network,” said Christie. “We are already in the business of creating first class marketing content for our clients and our video team is committed to producing top quality promotional videos as another way to execute on their strategic marketing goals.”

WIN’s extensive experience within the industry and ability to produce the highest quality videos at an affordable price offer an exceptional opportunity. WIN Media will offer a number of affordable video packages to industry suppliers, service professionals, wineries, industry trade associations, publications and other closely related businesses.

 

WIN Welcomes Nick Young to Network Team
Published On: 18 April, 2011
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Nick Young Joins Wine Industry Network as Membership Operations Manager

 

WineIndustryNetwork.com Expands Membership Services

 

Healdsburg, Calif., April 18, 2011 – George Christie, President of The Wine Industry Network (WIN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Young as their new Membership Operations Manager and will be key support for the rapidly expanding industry resource and marketing platform. “Nick has extensive experience with membership retention and customer management. His technical knowledge and proven track record in direct marketing, web design and management will add value to our organization and push our level of customer service over the top,” said George Christie.

Young brings with him a versatile background in marketing, database management and design. He has spent his past five years working as Information Services Director for the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce, an organization that has experienced tremendous growth and success in recent years. His contributions to the chamber have been numerous including the migration to digital communications, maintenance of database systems, and implementation and maintenance of social networking channels. Additionally, Young is a local Healdsburg native with a rich wine industry heritage as the grandson of Robert Young, renowned winegrower and industry icon.

Young’s ability to build and maintain customer relationships along with his versatility and resourcefulness were the deciding factors for Christie. “His entrepreneurial spirit was a big plus for me,” says Christie. “I’m looking forward to Nick bringing his strong interpersonal skills, fresh perspective, and energy to WIN.”

“The Wine Industry Network is breaking new ground in the industry,” said Nick Young. “Their model is extremely exciting and innovative and is a perfect fit for my interest and experience. I am eager to be a part of such a dedicated group of people.”

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Great article on WIN in Chief Business Marketer
Published On: 21 July, 2010
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Online Network Unites Wine Industry Suppliers

wine glasses

Thick, heavy directories were once a mainstay for B-to-B marketers trying to reach peers and prospects within their sector. They all had at least one such well-worn book on their desks.

The winery and vineyard business in the United States—going back well more than 100 years in many regions—is no exception. It's a business organized around small, geographic pockets, which puts a heavy marketing burden on the suppliers who are trying to sell equipment and professional services to those firms.

The best way to reach such a diverse audience today, of course, isn't with a tome that becomes outdated even before the ink dries but rather online.

The Wine Industry Network (WIN) is an online marketplace that launched last October to help foster a sense of community in the industry. "In the old print directories, there just wasn't enough information to make an informed buying decision," says George Christie, a long-time wine industry marketer who founded the site. "Now, they can have the whole market in front of them in one place."

About 175 wine industry suppliers—everyone from what Christie calls the "bottle, barrel and cork guys" to attorneys and accountants providing professional services—now have profiles listed at wineindustrynetwork.com. Some of them are small companies with few marketing resources and less marketing acumen. Others are big corporations, but looking for a venue where they can appeal to a focused customer niche.

The WIN has four categories: winemaking and production; vineyards; professional services and operations; and sales and marketing. Visitors to the Web site sign up for e-newsletters distributed every other week that are aimed at their specific categories. The newsletters contain the logos and information from suppliers that fit the particular category. As of June, the WIN had about 17,000 of the sector suppliers' B-to-B customer targets signed up, including 12,000 alone in the winemaking and vineyard categories.

Vino by the Numbers: The Metrics of B-to-B Networking

Suppliers pay monthly dues to be listed on the site, ranging from $45 per month for a basic membership to $90 per month to be highlighted in multiple product search categories.

Christie said the WIN builds its subscriber and member lists not only through direct site visits but also by signing up wine industry members at trade shows, via social media and even by phone. Ultimately, Christie knows the top thing B-to-B suppliers in his sector are looking for is proof of return on investment, which he is more than happy to provide by making site metrics and reports available to them.

Information on monthly reports includes:

 

  • Number of clicks per month on a supplier profile.
  • How many site visitors found a profile by searching for products and services.
  • Top items searched.
  • Number of pages clicked overall.
  • If a visitor found the site via a newsletter.

Christie said many people advised him against providing too much information about the site's effectiveness, but "to me, one of the benefits of the Internet is you can provide transparency. With print marketing, you often don't know who is seeing you."

Top-Shelf Ideas: Tips on B-to-B Community Building

Christie offered some thoughts on what you should keep in mind if considering creating your own niche B-to-B networking community.

1. Online, even small guys can look big. Smaller suppliers can achieve a greater reach online and be listed in close proximity to larger competitors

2. Big guys can look small too. In sectors like the wine industry, Christie says, big companies can benefit from looking like smaller, more intimate operations ready to make their customers feel like part of the family.

3. Social media is often free but has indirect costs: Leaping into places like Facebook and LinkedIn is free upfront, but the indirect cost comes in the ability to maintain and frequently update your social media presence.

4. Have realistic expectations. The WIN, for example, is a B-to-B marketplace focused on a defined sector, so monthly clicks are not going to number into the thousands. "If 30 to 50 people have clicked on your logo in a given month, then you are doing fine. The people who need to see you are seeing you."

PRESS RELEASE: WIN Expands Social Media Marketing Services
Published On: 07 June, 2010
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Wine Industry Network Expands Social Media Marketing Services

 

WineIndustryNetwork.com Continues Strategic Growth of Online Wine Business Community

Healdsburg, Calif., June 7, 2010 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN), the fastest growing and most cutting edge B2B marketplace and online resource for the wine industry today announced the expansion of their direct marketing services to include a more comprehensive social media marketing platform for  industry buyers and suppliers.

Current economic conditions continue to challenge businesses of all sizes to look for new and innovative ways to reach potential customers. WIN is addressing this challenge by creating new sales channels for their supplier members with the launch of the WIN blog, a customized social networking platform that encourages dialog and provides relevant industry information, and by offering enhanced social media marketing services. These services extend the reach of their members while providing them with a cost-effective addition to traditional marketing. WIN also leverages existing social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and is strategically building the wine industry’s largest online business community, taking B2B marketing to a new level.                                                     

“Our primary objective is to help our members achieve the highest return on their marketing investment,” said Elizabeth Slater, Executive Vice President/Founder of Wine Industry Network. “The expansion of our social media platform provides access to more customers for our members and optimizes the WIN online presence on their behalf”.

“Social Marketing is rapidly changing the way brands communicate with their customers,” said George Christie, President/Founder of Wine Industry Network. “Our innovative approach and new social marketing platform helps our supplier members engage in more direct and meaningful conversations, which in turn is reinforcing their brand equity, their relationships, and their revenues.  

NorthBay biz talks to WIN in Technically Speaking
Published On: 27 May, 2010
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Technically Speaking

Author: Ray Holley
June, 2010 Issue

 

NorthBay biz talks to five organizations that are mixing technology and service, with results that will lower costs and improve the overall customer experience.

 
The smart use of technology can save time and money, but the companies doing it well are combining it with old-fashioned customer service. They take a “high-tech plus high-touch” approach to serving customers, offering sophisticated technological tools, backed up by real people who can help you when you need it. NorthBay biz spoke to five organizations that are mixing technology and service, with results that will lower costs and improve the overall customer experience.
 
Wine Industry Network
(707) 433-2557

When New Jersey native George Christie came to California in 1991, he got into the wine industry right away. He spent the next 15 years wearing a lot of hats, from national marketing to general winery operations. He also honed his technological skills and, in 2006, launched a wine marketing consulting firm that offered video marketing and production. With his help, wineries and suppliers started posting informational videos on their websites.

Christie also noticed an unfilled niche in the industry. “When I started consulting full-time, I realized how difficult it is to get good, accurate information” about products and services, he says.

Christie wasn’t alone in his assessment. During a conversation with Elizabeth Slater of InShort Direct Marketing, a longtime wine industry marketer, they shared with each other that they were regularly contacted by clients asking for referrals to suppliers. Their conversations led to the launch of Wine Industry Network (WIN), a comprehensive online marketplace and referral source for wine industry buyers.

With an initial investment of $150,000, WIN is growing monthly. Christie and Slater are focused on providing information and connecting suppliers to clients. “One of our main objectives was to make sure that, from a purchasing perspective, we had a platform that would provide as much information as possible so the suppliers we represented could really show off what they had to offer,” Christie says. “No one else was even thinking about helping suppliers that way, but we knew we had to do it because it was good for the industry.”

To launch the site, WIN aggregated information on almost 1,000 of the best wine industry suppliers, about 200 of which have already become paying members of the network in just six months. Membership dues range from $35 a month for small wine regions to $90 a month for companies that cover all of North America.

Membership benefits include a robust profile on the website that can be accessed and easily updated by the member, and what Christie calls “integrated marketing,” a combination of email marketing campaigns, videos, pictures, social media and more. “We want suppliers to think of us as a direct marketing agency—an online extension of their current marketing efforts. We bolt onto whatever marketing they’re already doing.”

Christie envisions a robust, business-to-business marketplace. “We knew that just building the site wouldn’t be enough. We need to be facilitating the exchange of information between suppliers and prospective customers.” Emails are sent out weekly to a WIN database of 15,000 industry contacts. Recipients can choose which categories of information they want to receive. “We’re offering an ability to participate in cooperative marketing campaigns.”

WIN members can also track the effectiveness of their investment in real time. “Members can log in and see the back-end data: how many visitors clicked on their website, what pages they read in the listing, and so forth. It’s about complete transparency. That’s the way the world is moving.”

The WIN model depends on affordable membership fees (so any-sized supplier can participate) coupled with a rapid return on investment. “This is an ‘all ships rise with the tide’ opportunity,” Christie says. “If you have a tradeshow and you only have one bottle guy, only one cork guy…no one would come. This is a case where exclusivity isn’t good; the more companies we have, the better it is for everyone. We’re marketing experts and we’ll help you differentiate yourselves, but let’s all get here first.”

WIN staff spends a lot of time with members and is committed to augmenting the technology focus with personal contact. “There are a lot of good suppliers out there who don’t have big budgets,” says Christie. “Our pricing strategy is that they’re just one deal away from converting a WIN membership from an expense to an investment. Our premise is how to over-deliver on our marketing services so this is one of the easiest buying decisions they’ll make.”

Christie says he and Slater are experienced marketers, but adds that they want to “make sure we stay authentic. We’re not advertising people, we’re winery people, and we know other winery people are out there trying to make good decisions. They just need access to better information…and that’s what WIN is all about.”

Unified Press Release - FEB 2010
Published On: 10 February, 2010
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Media Contact:

Tami Christie

 707.433.2557 ext. 103

tami@wineindustrynetwork.com

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Industry Network Continues to Gain Momentum

 

Unified Symposium Attendees and Exhibitors Realize Potential of Industry Resource Site

 

 

Healdsburg, Calif., February 10, 2010 – The Wine Industry Network (WIN), the fastest growing wine industry business to business network in North America, generated a tremendous response at the 2010 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium and significantly increased the number of registered users on the site.

 

WIN, launched this past October, is helping industry suppliers build their businesses in the challenging economic climate by blending technology with tradition. The scrappy start-up company that is the brain-child of industry veterans George Christie and Elizabeth Slater provides a more comprehensive resource with direct marketing features such as targeted email campaigns, social network marketing, and strategic industry alliances, all of which allow supplier members to target, track and measure sales and marketing efforts.  By continuing to evolve the site and services to meet the needs of WIN members and users, the industry is quickly incorporating the WIN site in their business-to-business purchases & marketing programs. While the reception by suppliers has been very positive from the beginning, the overwhelming increase in new registered site users at the show was a welcomed affirmation.

 

“We were thrilled at the response from winery attendees and industry suppliers who took the time to visit our booth and learn more about WIN”, said Elizabeth Slater, Executive Vice President/Founder of Wine Industry Network. “Once they saw the services, resource information, and capabilities available on our site, they didn’t hesitate to sign up”.

 

“Our focus and commitment to excellent service, creative thinking, and bottom line results for our WIN members and industry users is what has generated this type of response”, said George Christie, President/Founder of the Wine Industry Network. “The people we spoke to at the show were able to see first-hand the value that WIN brings to the industry”.

 

 

 

 

# # #

 

North Bay Business Journal - Launch 9-28-09
Published On: 28 September, 2009
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The North Bay Business Journal announces the launch of WIN!

September 28th, 2009

Wine marketers launch virtual ‘marketing co-op’

 

By Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

HEALDSBURG – Two wine marketing consultants are launching a business-to-business Internet site they believe will give wineries, winegrape growers, suppliers and service providers a more informative, targeted virtual venue for finding each other.

George Christie of Christie Wine Consultants in Healdsburg and Elizabeth Slater of In Short Marketing in Windsor plan to launch Wine Industry Network on Oct. 5 with a starting database of information on about 700 “traditional” suppliers to the industry, such as vendors for bottles, barrels, corks, grapes, etc. In addition to details on the estimated 1,000 such suppliers in North America, they want to include service providers such as attorneys, associations and educational institutions.

“We think of this as more of a marketplace versus a directory,” said Mr. Christie, president of the venture. “A directory is where you get a phone number or a name. We want to drive leads to members.” They call this a “marketing cooperative” in which the suppliers are “members,” paying for market reach – $35 a month for one region or $90 monthly for the continent – rather than per transaction to attract small suppliers with slim margins. Trade associations and training institutions would have no-cost memberships. Accessing information on the site is free of charge.

“The scope of the supplier and production information provided has been a real need in the wine industry for a long time,” said Honore Comfort, executive director of the Sonoma County Wineries Association.The brokerage model was tried by St. Helena-based eVine, which ceased operations, and originally by Novato-based WineryExchange, which shifted to production of private and national brands. “We tend to be a conduit, rather than a broker,” Ms. Slater said.

For the membership fee, suppliers get a page on the site to add pricing and customer details, referrals, marketing collateral such as videos, pictures and digital presentations, as well as company and product news. The latter appear on the home page for the site as well as in weekly e-mail dispatches to those who specify they want information from particular types of suppliers in certain regions or states. Building on the rule of thumb of one wine club manager for every 200 to 300 members, the staff of Wine Industry Network, currently at five people, will grow to help members keep their information accurate and up to date, according to Ms. Slater. A test version of the site became active earlier this year to allow suppliers to test the service and add information. An undisclosed number of the suppliers represented on the site at press time have become members. The goal is to have 3,000 to 5,000 members in the next five years.

Ms. Slater and Mr. Christie, both partners in the Santa Rosa-based wine business consultancy The Octagon Group, came up with the marketplace concept in August 2007 as they discussed frequent calls from clients asking for information about vendors. The year-round virtual trade show concept came in early 2008 after Mr. Christie’s visit to the large annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento.

For more information, call 707-433-2557 or visit www.wineindustrynetwork.com.

 

 

 

WIN Fast Facts
Published On: 27 September, 2009
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WINE INDUSTRY NETWORK FAST FACTS

 

WHAT:           The Wine Industry Network, WIN, is a comprehensive business-to-business (B2B) Internet marketplace that connects industry professionals effectively and efficiently with wine industry, suppliers, consultants and service professionals. Users may search both geographically and by category of interest. The site was created to provide information crucial to the success of the wine industry in an updated and easily accessible format.

 

WIN provides current and relevant information about suppliers and service professionals serving the North American and the global wine industry.

 

For Suppliers & Service Professionals, WIN is a more effective and efficient resource to reach potential customers, and to promote and sell their products and services.

 

WIN assists buyers to:

·         identify & connect efficiently with industry suppliers

·         gather information to manage their business successfully

 

For suppliers WIN:

·         is an internet based marketplace and direct marketing agency committed to the business of wine and driving business to its members

·         is the most targeted and measurable sales and marketing platform

·         provides downloadable current winery listings and new winery alerts

 

WHO:              Founded by industry experts George Christie and Elizabeth (E) Slater.

 

WHERE:         Healdsburg, California

CORPORATE CONTACT: PO Box 924

Healdsburg, CA 95448

877.717.2946

 

CONTACT:    Tami Christie

Voice: 707.953.9672

E-mail: Tami@WineIndustryNetwork.com

 

HOW :             The Wine Industry Network is a supplier supported internet marketplace with the primary objective to find and connect the right buyer with the right supplier every time in a way that is easier than anything currently available. WIN is funded through supplier memberships that range in price from $35 to $90 per month depending on desired visibility. Additional advertising opportunities are available to members. Using the site’s tools and resources are free to both members and subscribers.

 

 

 

FEATURES: Members Products & Services : An environmentally-friendly, technologically-current and comprehensive Internet marketplace of products and services that is both fast and effective to use. Suppliers are easily accessible and can be sorted regionally, nationally and internationally as well as by category. Member presentations of their products and services are on dedicated individual web pages on WineIndustryNetwork.com. Members present product and company information to potential customers, including contact and key personnel, videos, photographs and pricing. New information can be added easily, immediately and frequently. Members have access to opt-in e-mail marketing and regular reports on site traffic, click-through rates and other web metrics.

 

Supplier Ratings & Referrals: Cumulative ratings are awarded suppliers and service professionals by the people who use their business. Those in the industry with first hand knowledge also may write referrals. Oversight of both referrals and ratings is strict, and enforced. Suppliers have an opportunity to respond to negative comments.

 

Educational Videos: Categorical listings of educational and informational videos on all facets of the wine and grape industries are available.

 

Business Tips & Tactics: A variety of topics vital to the industry including production, vineyard, operations, tasting room management and marketing may be easily downloaded and shared as PDF, word or excel files.

 

Supplier News: Users select the supplier news they want delivered to their inbox to keep them in touch with what’s new and essential to their business.

 

Wine Industry Associations & Educational Institutions: Individual web pages showing information, programs and curriculum is provided at no charge to associations and educational institutions.